The production of plums for drying is carried out in highly specialised farms by producers
who choose to adopt it as their main arboreal cultivation.
Monte Ré’s specialised technicians closely oversee every phase of the plum orchard’s life,
from the planting of young trees to the harvest – always with painstaking care for the protection of the environment,
as well as of producers and consumers.
Our farms have unique characteristics, since we chose to keep great distances between plants and between each row,
in order to obtain an excellent exposition to sunlight – which, together with irrigation, represents a crucial factor in the production of high quality plums.
Such great distances also allow for the employment of specialised technical instruments for all farming operations, from pruning to harvest.
Full-scale production is reached slowly: six years have to pass between planting and the first harvest.
An orchard of plums for drying, if well-tended, can last up to thirty years.
All the plums cultivated variety to obtain prunes have been selected by the same variety born around the Agen area (France).
Even the prunes from California or our Italian prunes originate from this variety.
Pruning is one of the fundamental phases of cultivation, since it is necessary to prepare production for the following year.
It is carried out manually by specialised operators, who shape the branches of plants throughout the winter.
An accurate pruning guarantees the quality of the fruit that will be picked later on in the year.
Flowering occurs in early spring, after the pruning, and represents the most impressive period of the year.
For at least seven days, beautiful flowers blossom and make the orchard look like a stunning white cloud.
During the flowering period bees, bumblebees and other pollinators, helped by the breeze, transport pollen from flower to flower,
guaranteeing an extraordinary fructification.
The fruits thus formed are attentively monitored by producers throughout the summer.
In this phase fertilization and irrigation play a crucial role – each tree needs about 200 litres of water to produce one kilo of ripe plums!
Fruits are ready for harvesting by late August – early September.
By this time they possess the ideal characteristics which are necessary to obtain a very high quality in the drying process,
since they have reached the apex of ripening.
In this phase, it is necessary to be very quick in the picking operations,
and rapidity is guaranteed by the employment of automatic shaking machines, that allow to harvest up to two hectares a day.
Harvested plums are carried to drying plants within a few hours.
They are washed and laid on mats. These mats are then placed onto trays and into drying tunnels,
where plums are dried at controlled temperatures, usually for a period of about 30 hours.
Three kilos of plums are necessary to obtain one kilo of dried prunes!
After drying, prunes are placed into containers and stored into warehouses.
They are later sized and selected by specialised personnel before packaging.
Before packaging the plums must be rehydrated to give them the desired consistency.
A part of the product is mechanically pitted with Ashlock system.
Each package of prunes is identified with a lot code, through which you can directly go back to the plums producer farm.
Fill in here the code printed on the packaging: